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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, February 25
Mikheil Saakashvili: some TV channels were more biased, others less Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said the owner of TV Company Rustavi 2 is being asked by some people to sell his shares in the company. Media.Ge reports this is what Saakashvili said in the talk show Accents on Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) on February 22nd.

“There is a real threat today of GPB closing.” Saakashvili said before adding that it was publicly announced that the owners of Rustavi 2 should be deprived of their shares in the company. He said law suits have already been filed concerning this issue. “Some journalists are being told they will join Rustavi 2… We know everything,” Saakashvili said.

When asked by TV host Eka Kvesitadze whether he regrets the fact that the media was not free during his governance, Saakashvili did not give a direct answer. Media.Ge reports that according to the President three channels existed when he came to power referring to Rustavi 2, Imedi TV and GPB. He then added that Maestro TV, Obieqtivi, 18 regional broadcasters, 25th channel of Adjara and 30 newspapers began to operate during his presidency.

Media.Ge added that President did not specify which regional broadcasters he meant. The 25th Channel has been operating since 1993 while Saakashvili came to power in 2004.

Saakashvili also welcomed the establishment of Must-Carry principles and Georgia’s “computerisation” as a way for encouraging social media. He said his party welcomes even-handed criticism on all TV channels, but added that media biases exist in every country in the world.

“Biases were more pronounced at certain channels." Saakashvili said before adding that this is the definition of media pluralism. “Imedi TV would never criticize (the late) Badri Patarkatsishvili when he was its owner, nor does Channel 9 criticize Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. The public should decide which channel they want according to their political taste.” the President concluded.

Over 3 million GEL to be used to record court sessions

Media.Ge reports that over 3.5 million lari will be used from the government’s reserve fund for equipping video surveillance cameras during court sessions. Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri announced after the cabinet session on February 21 that at least one camera will be used to record trials and other court sessions beginning in March. In 2007 all photo, audio and video recordings of trial proceedings were banned.